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Update on the latest in business:

June 5, 2018


Stocks turn mostly lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have turned mostly lower after posting solid gains over the last two days.

Banks fell along with bond yields. JPMorgan Chase lost 1.1 percent. Lower yields force interest rates down on mortgages and other loans.

Health care companies fell. Amgen dropped 2.9 percent after regulators gave approval to Mylan to make a version of one of Amgen’s anti-infection drugs.

Starbucks fell 2.6 percent after announcing that Howard Schulz was leaving his post as chairman.


US job openings tick up to new record high

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses posted the most job openings on record in April for the second straight month, underscoring the economy’s strong demand for workers.

The Labor Department says the number of available jobs rose 1 percent to 6.7 million from 6.6 million in March. That’s the most since records began in December 2000.

Steady economic growth has encouraged employers to step up hiring. That pushed the unemployment rate in May to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. There are now more open jobs than there are unemployed people, a historically unusual development that should give workers more leverage to demand raises.

The number of people quitting their jobs slipped just 1 percent from a record high in March. More quitting suggests workers are easily able to get new jobs.


Trump prefers separate deals with Canada, Mexico to NAFTA

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser says the president now prefers to negotiate separately with Canada and Mexico over their three-country trade deal.

Still, Larry Kudlow told “Fox & Friends” that Trump isn’t going to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Kudlow says Trump is “just going to try a different approach.” Trump recently floated the idea of negotiating separately with Canada and Mexico.

Kudlow says Trump and his other economic advisers met several times Monday and that Trump asked Kudlow to convey his new preference.

Trump’s desire for a new approach may further complicate already tense talks that have been underway for months on renegotiating NAFTA. Trump maintains the landmark free-trade deal is a “disaster” that has killed U.S. jobs and hurt manufacturing.


Immigration agents arrest 114 in landscaper sting

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — U.S. immigration agents have made more than 100 arrests at an Ohio gardening company in the Trump administration’s growing crackdown on employers for hiring people who are in the country illegally.

The 114 arrests happened Tuesday morning at two locations of Corso’s Flower & Garden Center, one in Sandusky and another in nearby Castalia. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it expects charges for crimes including identity theft and tax evasion.

No criminal charges have been filed against Corso’s, but authorities say the employer is under investigation.

The operation is part of the Trump administration’s focus on employers that took hold about a year after the president took office, months after a surge in deportation arrests began.


Conservative icon David Koch leaving business, politics

NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers’ network of business and political activities.

The 78-year-old New York resident is suffering from deteriorating health, according to a letter from older brother Charles Koch sent to company officials Tuesday.

Charles Koch wrote: “We are deeply saddened by this, as we miss David’s insightful questions and his many contributions to Koch Industries.”

David Koch is leaving his roles as executive vice president and board member for Koch Industries and chairman of the board for the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, the charity related to Koch brothers’ primary political organization.

Charles Koch will continue to serve as CEO of Koch Industries and the unofficial face of the network.

Democrats have demonized the brothers for their outsized influence in conservative politics.


Trump appealing ruling that bars blocking of Twitter critics

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump is asking an appeals court to restore his power to block critics on Twitter.

Trump’s lawyers gave notice Monday that they’re appealing a federal judge’s ruling that says blocking people from the @realDonaldTrump account is a violation of the First Amendment.

The lawyers did not immediately respond to messages.

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald (rees BUHK’-wahld) ruled last month that Trump was violating the First Amendment .

She made clear that people have a right to reply directly to politicians who use their accounts as public forums to conduct official business.

The ruling stopped short of ordering Trump to unblock users, but one user who sued Trump tweeted that her access had been restored.


Lord & Taylor to close storied flagship on Fifth Avenue

NEW YORK (AP) — Lord & Taylor is abandoning plans to keep a store in the Fifth Avenue flagship it is selling, as the chain’s owner closes more stores and focuses on online sales.

The announcement Tuesday comes about seven months after the company said it would sell the century-old building to office space sharing company WeWork. Hudson’s Bay Co. said then it would keep less than a quarter of the 11-story building for a Lord & Taylor store.

Hudson’s Bay, which also operates Saks Fifth Avenue and other stores, said it expects to close up to 10 of its nearly 50 Lord & Taylor stores through 2019.

Lord & Taylor was the first to create Christmas windows for entertainment, rather than for selling merchandise. It pioneered the animated window display in 1938.


Gilded Age sporting goods co. Rawlings is sold

NEW YORK (AP) — The 131-year-old Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. is being sold to a private equity fund for about $395 million.

The iconic sports gear maker, which has outfitted children and pros alike, from Roberto Clemente and Mickey Mantle, to Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Giancarlo Stanton, is being acquired by a fund managed by Seidler Equity Partners.

Major League Baseball is a co-investor.

Newell Brands Inc. said Tuesday that it was selling the company, founded in St. Louis in 1887, to better focus on its core brands. It recently sold its disposable cups and cutlery business for about $2.2 billion. The Hoboken, New Jersey, company owns Sharpie, Calphalon and Rubbermaid.

The sale is expected to close in the next two months.


Wells Fargo exits retail banking in 3 Midwestern states

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wells Fargo is exiting retail banking operations in three Midwestern states as the beleaguered company follows through on previous plans to reduce the number of locations it has open.

The San Francisco bank said Tuesday that it will sell 52 retail bank branches in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio to a Flagstar Bancorp subsidiary, as well as several branches in Wisconsin.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Almost 500 employees will be get job offers from Flagstar.

Wells Fargo & Co. has said it will reduce to approximately 5,000 the branches it operates by the end of 2020.

The bank will maintain some commercial lending, wealth management, retail brokerage and home lending operations in the four states.


Ice cream maker, brewery team up to create “Fudgie the Beer”

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — A brewing company in New York has joined with an ice cream maker so consumers can have their cake in a beer.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company’s “Fudgie the Beer” is a take on Carvel’s “Fudgie the Whale” ice cream cake that’s formed in the shape of a whale.

The stout beer is brewed with the ice cream cake maker’s signature chocolate and fudge and is 6 percent alcohol by volume. The brewery says the beer pairs well with smoked foods and chocolate desserts.

The first batch of “Fudgie the Beer” sold out and the second batch will be available Friday.

The beer will be available only at Captain Lawrence’s beer hall in Elmsford, New York.

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